Monday, March 8, 2010

A Fishy Tale

We usually eat fish and chips on a Saturday lunchtime, a ritual my sixteen-cum-six-year-old and his daddy have shared ever since for always. The guys at the fish-shop know them well, making time to engage with our lad, they slip him the odd sweet or sticker, ask him about his week and generally fuss over him. They are a good bunch of guys that work down there.

My youngest enjoys her battered cod, but she also has a tender heart. Ever since I placed two fish tanks in the kitchen (one tropical, the other for cold water fish) she refuses to eat her fish lunch in there. Oh, don't get me wrong, she still happily scoffs it down, she just won't do it in the kitchen. She worries about stressing them out.

This is the girl who insists upon a full-blown garden funeral should any of our fish die (cries real tears, too). Our cat has taken to frequently spot checking down there, and often gets lucky. I wish she'd stop digging them up, repeat-funerals are so tedious. One tank (the tropicals) is Abby's responsibility, she feeds, filters and cleans it out every week.

One day disaster threatened. (Funny how these things always seem to coincide on the week when daddy is in London.) Abby came running through to find me, apparently the heating pump in the tank had seized up, and all her fish were about to die.

I know better than to argue with a drama queen.

After a cursory check I reluctantly agreed. We needed a new pump, no doubts about it. The problem was, the shop that supplies these things is a twenty minute drive away, and according to the clock, it was due to close in less than thirty. I loaded three of my four darlings up into the Tardis, with the hound somehow managing to smuggle himself in too (not an easy task for someone shaped like a pit pony). No matter, I let him stay, just hoping he didn't get too vocal (his baying to the radio drives me nuts, every time I up the volume, he does too).

Off we flew on our mission of mercy, no holds barred. We made good time, the traffic light fairy sat on my shoulder, it was green lights all the way. Wheeeeeeeee!

I couldn't believe it when this skinny guy leaped out from nowhere and pointed a gun straight at us. (WTF??)

My first instincts were to floor the pedal and mow straight through the bastard. Thankfully, having my spec's on, I did clock (in the brink of time) the police uniform. He started waving and pointing to the entrance of the church car park. Still a bit clueless, I grudgingly braked, (effectively shutting the hound up mid-howl, as he found himself ricocheted into the gearstick). Ever the obedient one, (what? Well, I can be) I pulled over.

For those Brits amongst us, did any of you ever watch the series "Goodnight, sweetheart"? Do you remember the Bobby in it? I swear, this is the very guy who inspired that character, except the fictional one is far, far more toned-down than the real life version, believe you me.

Tapping on my window, he motioned me out. Naturally, the kids and hound came too, eager as they were to see what the nice policeman wanted.

"Do you realise Madam, that your were driving at 47mph in a 30mph zone?"

"Really? No, I had no idea." (I didn't. I thought I'd been going much faster.)

I quickly explained it was a matter of life or death, hoping he'd stop rabbiting on and offer up a police escort. Did he heck! Fifteen blooming minutes he had us out there, lecturing me on the evils of playing Dick Dasterdly in the Wacky Races (I bet Dick's side-kick, Mutley wouldn't have so shamelessly slobbered all over the nice policeman). I made a mental note to starve the hound of biscuits for a week, and tried not to keep sneaking a look at his watch.

God, did he go on.

I wouldn't have minded quite so much if he didn't have such a smug grin plastered all across his face. He decided to do me the enormous favour of letting me off with a caution. Of course, I didn't have any documentation on me, so this would involve having to trot down to the local cop shop within the week to produce them. Did I mention this was during half-term? Fair do's, I loaded everyone back in to the car and set back for home. we had a tank-load of fish to nurse. (As it turned out, by topping the tank up with warm water every couple of hours, they managed to survive the night, no harm done.)

The next day I geared myself up to turn myself in. See, there was a slight problem. Not a big problem, just a teensy-weensie technical problem. One hubby had been nagging me over for years.

I didn't actually have the right licence.

Oh, I had a clean UK driving licence, no worries on that. But there is a daft rule over here that after a six month residency on the island, you have to swap your UK licence over for a Craggy Island one. Mad, huh? Anyway, I'd never got around to it. That's not to say I was driving around illegally - well, not really.  See, I could claim dual-residency, on account we still have a place in London, but in truth, with the amount of paperwork this entails, it would probably be easier to simply swap my licence over to a Craggy one.  Like I say, I had been meaning too..

I decided the best defence was to play the dumb blond, and just get it over with.

The kids thought it was a great day out to have a tour round our local police station. Honestly, what a fuss. First we were made to wait for ages as the civilian clerk behind the glass screen went off to "supposedly" photo copy my documents (I just knew she'd gone off to rat me out).

Mind you, I was impressed I warranted the actual wrath of the big boss-man himself. The Sergent, no less, escorted my little brood and I through to a back room. He quizzed me about how long I'd lived here. I'm no good under interrogation, besides the kids wouldn't back me up. So off we went again. Another fifteen minute (sterner) lecture about the evils of driving around without a valid licence. At least he had the good grace to let my sixteen-year-come-six-year-old wear his police helmet throughout (well, it was the only way to shut him up). It took a further ten minutes to wrestle it from his head again, but eventually we persuaded him to trade it back it for a bunch of pens and the notepad warning him against drug abuse.

I was firmly advised not to drive until I switched my licence over, and he waved me back to my car. (Yeah, I know, he turned out to be quite a sweetie, all things considered.) Just as I was loading up, who should walk by but the original copper who had pulled us over the day before. Unlike his boss, I wasn't too keen on him, so I decided to stick my nose in the air and ignore him. Sadly, sixteen-come-six-year-old is much more friendly than his mother is, and besides, he fancied his hat. Long story short, I made polite, peeled my son off, and eventually escaped.

The downside to living in a place that has a virtually nil crime rate, is that the bobbies over here get a wee bit bored with themselves. I guess it's not quite what they had dreamt of doing when they'd first joined up. Unlike "Cops," we don't get many high speed car chases, kidnap ransoms or armed robberies. And let's face it, there are only so many talks you can inflict upon a class-load of hyperactive kids every month. So I don't know why I was so surprised to receive a phone-call from my nemesis later that evening.

Yup, it was Mr. Jobsworth again, the guy who had pulled me over. He was outraged to have witnessed me pulling out of the cop-shop, driving without a valid licence! (I'll bet his sergeant finds him a right pain in the arse). He ranted and ranted, promising me he'd arrest me on the spot if I got behind the wheel again without first having a correct Craggy Island drivers licence. I was well and truly fed up by now. I'd tried being nice. I  pointed out it was half term, told him it could wait 'til next week, and put the phone down. Enough was enough.

The following morning, I went to take the kids to the beach. Reaching the top of the drive, I checked the road both ways for traffic, and stopped. The slimy little toad was only parked (illegally, I might add) in his Panda car, right opposite my house! Can you believe it? He'd put me under surveillance. (Isn't there a law against stalking?)

Sweet, suffering Jesus!

All sodding week he sat there. It became a joke, I'd send a scout out to check the top of the drive, and there he would be, waving back at them. We were effectively under house arrest.

Nice to know the taxpayers money is so well spent, eh?


Anonymous said...

Achtung! Your papers, please! And so, a few questions, please!

Maybe your cop could come over here on an exchange program. A few months of fighting Hispanic and black gangbangers, and raiding meth labs, might improve his attitude.

I got pulled over for rolling through a stop sign a week or so ago. The Deputy told me to be more careful, allowed as how he himself did the same thing once in awhile, and let me go on about my business paper free.

Kristina Hughes said...

There's nothing better to cheer up a Monday morning than wandering over to your blog - again, you've had me in stitches! Craggy Island sounds like a brilliant place to live - comedy coppers and all - love it! Thanks for making me laugh out loud. Again xx

Skunkfeathers said...

A Brit Barney Fife, et your bloomin' service (and bloody door step, practically). I reckon your lucky he doesn't arrest your cat for grave-robbing ;)

Fletch said...

I remember this copper from a previous post.

Has he been 'hitting-up' on you again?

Enjoy the attention while you can ...

Rachel said...

Haha! As much as this sounds like a nightmare, it has made me laugh on a Monday! Seriously, has Mr. Jobsworth not got anything better to do?

Kathryn Magendie said...

Laughing....skunkfeathers comment "brit barney fife" LAUGHING!

(and as to your comment - didn't they pass some new law about college kids and credit cards - ? or maybe BB are thinking of ways to get past that, too?)

Sling said...

He pointed a gun at you,and forced you to pull over,..for going over the speed limit??
We call that 'kidnapping' here in the Colonies!
..What a putz.

Shrinky said...

Hi Kristina, ah, Craggy Island, the cutting edge of all things mundane - wink - even it has it's moments, eh? Grin.

Hey Skunkfeathers, shhhh, keep it down, he might hear ya' and come back to investigate..

Nah Fletch, you're thinking of the time I was arrested and thrown in a cell overnight, remember? Maybe I ought to re-post that delightful experience?

Rachel, 'twould appear he does not, shame on him! Still, guess you have to see the funny side, eh?

Hi Kathryn (I can't picture you now without seeing that video clip of you reading naked, hehehe..) Skunkfeathers is a master of putting things succinctley! As to the other thing, no, not over here they haven't - more's the pity!

Shrinky said...

Sling, (blush) I may have forgotten to mention it was a speed-gun he pointed at us, but how the hell was I to know? Our coppers aren't allowed real guns over here (and is it any wonder..?)!

Hilary said...

You're acquiring quite the police record for yourself! Skunkfeathers made me laugh too. I pictured the bullet in his pocket until you said they didn't even carry guns. Too funny... but I'll bet it was as annoying as hell.

Do yo have the "proper' documentation now? Or does he still stalk you?

Shrinky said...

Ah, Hilary, in my defence, I think I ought to clarify I was MISTAKENLY arrested and slung in a cell overnight - truly! And yeah, I'm complete with the required licence to drive around with now (smile).

Me-Me King said...

Holy Carp, BatGirl!!!

I'm your newest stalker and thanks for stopping by my place today.

Abby Annis said...

I used to think living on an island would get boring. Now I'm not so sure. :) Love your entertaining posts!

Oh, and your daughter has a fabulous name. :)

Anonymous said...

Yippee! The fish were saved!
Poo on the copper.


coppers..what can you do?...sigh*

Calamity Jane said...

'Ello, 'ello, 'ello, my name is PC Plod and I em a-monitorin' this 'ere blog. Medam Shrinky it would appear that you 'ave exceeded your quota of 'ilarious tales for this week. Consider this a warning young lady, a stern a-talking to will ensue if you continue burst my sides wiv such laughter.

Land of shimp said...

Holy crow!! For real, Shrinky, he stepped out into the street with his gun drawn??? I'm not exaggerating when I say he'd be suspended, and possibly fired for doing that in the U.S. Not only do we have states where folks have carry permits (meaning, way to invite being gunned down in the street) -- if someone doesn't follow proper procedure, there will be merry hell to pay.

He'd also find himself suspend for harassment for the stunt he pulled afterwards...and, at the very least, subject to mandatory counseling.

What a boob! Ship him to us and he'd be "fired in about six different ways!" boob. That is if he hadn't been gunned down by some Utah housewife for pointing a gun at her...and I'm being literal. Utah has carry permits, and a lot of Utah women are packing BIG Ol" GUNS.

Very funny story, and when I wasn't gasping in horror, I was laughing my butt off.

I just keep thinking how dead that Barney Fife, power abusing, gun-wielding moron would be in about...oh...half of the states here.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I mean I guess it's good that there really is no crime, but can't they find something better to do than stalk you?! Thanks for stopping by my blog too!

She Writes said...

Tax payers money being fairly used once again :)!

Suldog said...

Good Lord! Nothing better for the useless dickweed to do than sit outside your house all day? If you fancy a fight, it sounds to me like something you could bring up at your next council meeting or whatever local legislative body you have there. Might be a better use for the taxpayer's money than to spend it on coppers who hassle otherwise law-abiding citizens.

Leslie: said...

OMG! As you say, they have nothing better to do...I guess he hates his stay on Craggy Island and this excitement was something to write home about.

Mushy said...

There's a big debate going on in this area over speed and traffic signal cameras...they are supposed to rid the streets of cops with nothing better to do, but really! Which would you rather have a cop out there or a camera...what's the difference...right?

Oh yeah, having been a military cop I know how pleasant it is to dress folks down...especially officers...when we've been bored out of our heads for hours before the poor mark comes along! Hee hee.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, Carol...How horribly funny!!!! Don't know actually whether to laugh or cry...what a predicament for you!!! But what a Keystone Cop story!!! And yes, Skunkfeathers is right!!! I can just imagine Don Knox staking out your place!!! Oh, I'm sooo sorry...hope it is all behind you now!!! And oh, I just want to add that I love your daughter!!! So thoughtful of her not to eat fish in front of the fish!!! Sounds like something I would do ...LOL...Love you!!! Loved this post, too!!! Janine XO

Joanna Jenkins said...

What a great story-- Thanks for the above not to scroll down for it. When you got to the...

"I decided the best defence was to play the dumb blond, and just get it over with." part, I snorted juice up my nose.

You crack me up.

Hope your week is going good.

jay said...

Hahahahahaha! Oh, I'm sorry! *Tears of laughter* Your poor thing! LOL!

This is the bit that did it -

"The downside to living in a place that has a virtually nil crime rate, is that the bobbies over here get a wee bit bored with themselves."


I'll make a note: if we ever move to Craggy Isle, I will update my license and not speed. Ever.

And I'm glad the fish survived!

G-Man said...

Oh Yeah....He Likes YOU!!!

Daffy said...

How in the bloody hell you were suppose to get to the place in which you could transfer your license over? Walk? I hope it is a small island. Geez! He probably just thinks you're super hot!

Danyelle said...

Oh, wow! One thing I can say: you do not have a dull life! My Mondays pale in comparison. :p

Shrinky said...

Hi Me Me, you're sure a huge improvement on my last one (grin)!

She sure has, Abby! It's one of the first times I've found someone else who spells it right, too (wink).

Chewy, do I have to? (Shudder)

Search me, Yellowdog!

Haha, Calamity, very witty - high five!

Oh um, Shimp (sitting you down and dispensing a glass of water to you), I'm really, really sorry hon, what I SHOULD have said, was he APPEARED to be pointing a gun at us - well, he was too, 'cept, see, it was a speed gun (no bullets) to catch me as I sped - but still, how the hell was I to know that, eh? No one, not even our cops, are allowed to tote any real live guns over here (smile)!

Hi bloggette, nice to see you in here - nah, apparantley they don't - more's the pity..

Yup Amy, got it in one!

Aw suldog, I was never much of a one for comittee-sitting, but I take your point. Maybe there is good reason this guy was still stuck in uniform as he neared his retirement, huh?

If that's the case Leslie, guess he is more to be pitied than despised, eh? Grin.

Aw Janine, you always have me smiling at your comments (hugs)! Yeah, little Ms. Abby is a sensitive soul indeed, but she is also the house clown, she has this way of turning the mundane into the hysterical, we are pretty blessed with her!

I'm shameless JJ, anything to get myself off the hook, ya' know? 'Sides, pride is highly over-rated (blush)!

Aw, c'mon Jay, you KNOW yor gonna' come over - I wanna' ride on that bike of yours, girl!

G-Man, thank Christ for that, just imagine if he hated me, eh?

Daffy, walk? Me??? Don't be ridiculous (snort), if God meant us to pound the pavement, he wouldn't have invented the treadmill (which I um, DO dust every now and then).. Anyway, he would have creamed his knickers if I'd been so daft enough as to let him see me drive off out of there, I sagely laid low, just until hubby got back to the isle.

Danyelle, you shoulda' known me when I lived in London (wink)!

Michelle H. said...

Oh this was a laugh riot! But really, I would have taken the panda man stalker to court. I've never heard of a cop calling a person's house in the evening to badger them. That's seems to me a fine line he crossed, with the phone records to prove it.

By and by, I grew up having fish, Tetra. Lagre tanks in the backroom. My mother was obsessed with them. She spent more time taking care and having quality time with them than me and my siblings.

Shrinky said...

Hey Michelle, how great to see you here! Yeah, that was creepy, wasn't it? He definitely crossed the line on that, no mistake. Och, it was just too much effort to chase him down over any of this, unlike him, my life is full enough, eh? Sounds like your mum and my ma would have got along like a house on fire (hugs).

Jazz said...

What a jerk. Did the fish get their new heater?

secret agent woman said...

A gun? I thought our cops were gun-happy but I don't think that would happen here.

Jen said...

That is outrageous. I'm driving with an expired license right now, and my tabs are going to expire at the end of the month. I can't get my new license until I have shed just a few more pounds. If I get pulled over I am sure they will understand when they see my current picture. Thankfully we have plenty of crime here and our copppers don't bother a lady with a car full of kids and mutts.

PRH....... said...

I hear Brit Fish and Chips taste just like Chicken?

tattytiara said...

I'd have given you a police escort to save the fish. Probably why I'd never get hired to be a cop, but none the less i would have!

Shrinky said...

Yeah Jazz, next day I put a call out to my lil' sis' over the mountain, and she picked one up for me (bless).

Secret Agent, it LOOKED like a gun, but it wasn't one with bullets, it clocks the speed you are travelling at - but when someone leaps out in the middle of the road and assumes the position, pointing it at you, it sure brings you up short!

Hey Jen, thanks hon, I completely agree with with you, I'm hardly on the ten most wanted, am I? (Grin) Hope you manage to get your licence sorted out before my guy reads this and tracks you down!

Hahaha, Pat - um, what on earth does your chicken taste like??

Awww Tatty, that is soooo sweet - shame you'd never make it as a cop, it would work wonders for their PR!

♥ Braja said...

It was the "in between chauffeurs [boyfriends]" that won me :)